Antique Pottery & Porcelain
Collecting pottery, Porcelain figurines and bone china is a very popular pastime throughout the world. There is a fantastic variety available, representing all types of themes. From animal figurines to fine china plates and famous story book character ornaments.
One of the first porcelain manufacturers began in Meissen in Germany in the 18th century. Theirzx porcelain was sold to the very rich and included tableware, watch cases and figurines. Meissen still produces porcelain today and their antique porcelain is highly sought-after.
In 1759 Josiah Wedgwood founded the Wedgwood Pottery Company in Stoke on Trent. The Wedgwood name is most famous for his dinner sets, especially his blue and white Jasperware and Queen’s ware pieces. But, he also produced ornaments, figurines and plates, which are highly collectable.
In the 19th century the Doulton Company was created and they produced tableware, pottery and decorative glassware, as well as figurines. In 1901 they changed their name to Royal Doulton and began to make products from fine bone china. During the early part of the twentieth century, they began to produce a series of themed figurines, such as Dickens and Shakespeare characters. Royal Doulton figurines are highly collectable and rare pieces can fetch large sums of money.
The Royal Albert Company was originally called Thomas C. Wild and Company and was an amalgamation of numerous pottery companies, brought up by Mr Wild. They produced cheaper pottery than Royal Doulton, but it was a very successful company. The company became famous for their floral designs and their tableware was very popular. Collectables include Old Roses bone china plates, which is a pattern most people will recognise.
Some of the most collectable ceramic pottery characters are those of Beatrix Potter. Five years after the death of Beatrix Potter in 1943, John Beswick produced, under licence, ten characters from the tales of Beatrix Potter. They were an immediate success and over the next twenty one years, he produced hundreds more. The Beatrix Potter characters are all now retired and so the rarer pieces have a considerable value.
Lladro was started by three brothers from Valencia. They produced classical figurines in a furnace from their small workshop. Soon Lladro figurines were very much in demand and the brothers moved to larger premises. During the 1960’s and 70’s their pieces were in great demand in America and overseas sales began to rise in Japan, Australia and the United Kingdom. They produced themed pieces and limited edition sculptures. In 1968 they created the NAO brand, which produces more modern and affordable pieces. This year Lladro celebrates its 60th anniversary and it is still as popular today as when the company began.
Collecting pottery and porcelain is a good investment and it’s something you’ll always see when pottering around your local antiques shop or fair. Read the logos and trademarks and you’ll soon learn to appreciate the genuine collectable pieces.